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June 19, 2020

A New Community is Born

By Kristen McCulloch

During last summer’s dedication of three Habitat homes in our Red Vest Way neighborhood, Laura Belcher, President and CEO of Habitat Charlotte Region, explained its importance. “This place has transformed from a construction site into a community of homes…and that’s what we’re really celebrating today. We hope this is the first of many neighborhoods like this, where we can bring families together through the process of homeownership, where they start to get to know each other, their kids get to meet each other, and they all grow up together.”

And despite a global pandemic, Habitat Charlotte Region’s construction team worked hard this spring to get the remaining families moved into their Red Vest Way homes. With this affordable housing neighborhood complete, Laura’s vision can now begin to take shape.

What started out as a multi-acre treed lot, is now a vibrant and colorful neighborhood of 21 affordable homes, all within a short commute of Uptown Charlotte. Statesville Road Elementary is within walking distance, convenient for families with young children.

Red Vest Way is our first project of this scale where we have started from the ground up. This project took months of preparation and countless hours of planning from the engineering and development of the infrastructure, to what house plans and colors would work best on each lot. And not to mention, last winter brought about days of inclement weather that stretched the timeline further out than originally planned. But once the infrastructure was complete and the lots were cleared, staff and volunteers came together to bring the project back up to speed.

“It was really a collaborative effort across our affiliate to make this dream a reality for our partner families.” Mary English, Family Services Manager says. “We have provided 21 families the opportunity to purchase a home and pay a mortgage that is 30% or less of their gross income, bringing many of them to a place of affordability that they likely were not ever able to experience as renters. 21 may not seem like a huge number, but that is how we are able to make an impact…one house, one partner family at a time.”

We are grateful for our Red Vest Way families; whose hard work and resilient spirits anchor this strong community. We are thankful for the 4,200 volunteers who contributed over 31,000 hours working side by side with our homeowners to build their new homes. We are thankful for our partner families who completed 6,300 hours helping their neighbors and the more than 50 sponsors from different backgrounds-faith and corporate- who made building this community possible.

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